Restaurants in Chicago
Chicago restaurants reflect the city’s diversity and richness: deep-dish pizza, hot dogs piled high with fixins’, restaurants helmed by celebrity chefs, and entire neighborhoods dedicated to certain culinary delights, like Greektown and Chinatown. For an unmatched view of the Chicago waterfront, try Riva on the Navy Pier. Their menu includes classic seafood dishes like oysters, lobster corn bisque and crab cakes, as well as a selection of steaks and a number of modern twists on traditional dishes. The food is matched only by the incredible view of Chicago’s skyline.
The Michelin-starred Allium Chicago, a foodie favorite, is a classically American dining experience for a classically American city – with a farm-to-table twist. The establishment serves up menus inspired by Chicago’s local markets – seasonal vegetables and cheeses, an assortment of local meats, and Chicago classics like the Chicago Style Hot Dog with “homemade everything.” Chicago restaurants are also indebted to the lunch counter scene of the 1960s; for a taste of that old vibe, visit Paul Kahan’s Blackbird Dining Room. This Chicago restaurant merges minimalism with farm-fresh dining for an unforgettable experience.
This two-story, red brick eatery offers a contemporary take on American cuisine, while focusing on local ingredients infused with global tastes.
The Scene: Supper club veteran and chef Efrain Cuevas (he did time with Ghetto Gourmet in Oakland) launched a new culinary club earlier this year; bimonthly Chicago-style locavore dinners are held in lofts and gardens within easy striking distance from the Loop.
Hawaiian-born Shin Thompson synthesizes high art and fine cuisine at Bonsoirée, an American Nouveau hotspot that began as an undergound operation back in 2005.
Serving contemporary American cuisine, this River North restaurant and wine bar focuses on seasonal ingredients and wine pairing. Known as The Tavern, the dining room boasts light wood floors, exposed air ducts, and a red, zinc-top oval bar.
After rising to fame in the Ritz-Carlton kitchen, James Beard Award winner Sarah Stegner and her co-chef George Bumbaris opened this New American restaurant in Northbrook, about 30 minutes outside Chicago.
A contemporary American restaurant and dessert bar in Bucktown, Hot Chocolate is the brainchild of Mindy Segal, a former pastry chef at Spago and a three-time James Beard Foundation nominee for Outstanding Pastry Chef in the Country.
Season 4’s understated Stephanie Izard was in the bottom rankings of almost every Quickfire challenge, but she ultimately prevailed—as the first female Top Chef—with her pork- and seafood-heavy farm-to-table comfort food.
Open until 5 a.m., Goose Island Shrimp House has been a local favorite for late night eats since 1974. Despite the remote location on Division Street and carryout-only setup, patrons continue to return for the Chicago-style (heavily breaded) fried shrimp served by the half-pound or pound.
Inspired by the wine-making regions of Europe, this West Loop wine bar is the sister restaurant to neighboring Blackbird. The main attraction here is the wine list, featuring 130 reasonably priced selections, 30 of which are available by the glass.
Specialing in Poblano food, this family-owned café is all about authentic flavors. In fact, the owner often travels to Mexico in order to obtain fresh, quality ingredients, and all of the restaurant's salsa are homemade using a family recipe.
Just steps away from Oprah’s Harpo Studios, the unfussy Wishbone is a favorite among staffers for southern-inspired fare that tends toward the lighter side: grilled or blackened fish, vegetarian hoppin’ john, and North Carolina-style pulled pork.
For an affordable breakfast in Andersonville, locals head to this authentic Swedish diner best known for its traditional pancakes with lingonberries. Inside, the small dining room is adorned with bright blue walls, hand-painted murals, and chandeliers hanging from rustic wooden beams.
Superstar Chef Marcus Samuelsson, owner of NYC’s Red Rooster and winner of Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters,” brings his skills to bear in Chi-Town at this seafood restaurant in the Affinia Chicago hotel.
Founder Dick Portillo began serving his delicious Chicago-style hot dogs out of a trailer back in 1963, and now this legendary franchise has nearly four dozen locations (including one in Buena Park, California).